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Women Artists of the Harlem Renaissance$
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Amy Helene Kirschke

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781628460339

Published to University Press of Mississippi: May 2015

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781628460339.001.0001

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Modern Dancers and African Amazons: Augusta Savage’s Daring Sculptures of Women, 1929–1930

Modern Dancers and African Amazons: Augusta Savage’s Daring Sculptures of Women, 1929–1930

Chapter:
(p.157) Chapter Six Modern Dancers and African Amazons: Augusta Savage’s Daring Sculptures of Women, 1929–1930
Source:
Women Artists of the Harlem Renaissance
Author(s):

Theresa Leininger-Miller

Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
DOI:10.14325/mississippi/9781628460339.003.0007

This chapter describes the life of Augusta Savage (1892–1962). She completed a four-year course in sculpture in three years at Cooper Union. At 37, with donations and a Carnegie grant, she went to Paris. She worked at the studio of Benneteau-Desgrois and in March 1930, went solo. The “Art of the Dance” published by the American dancer Isadora Duncan might be one of the first inspirations for her work. Even artists such as Auguste Rodin and Antoine Bourdelle, whom Savage admired, adored Duncan. One of her better known sculptures was the “Amazon,” modeled by a female of African descent. The sculpture, though of a fully endowed woman, was regarded as emancipating—never a slave but an independent woman characterized by strength, boldness, perseverance, and, something different, nonreliance on men. Savage continued to exhibit her work in New York and New Jersey. Most important of all, Savage had the distinction of her generation to have depicted something different about African women's bodies that broke conventions in the art world.

Keywords:   Isadora Duncan, sculpture, Benneteau-Desgrois, Paris

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